One of two commercial trainers available in the Basair aircraft inventory, the Cessna 206H/G model has a reputation in Australia as the most versatile bush aircraft. The aircraft boasts a powerful engine, impressive low speed performance, large carry load, ease of maintenance and modifications. In Australia the aircraft is used as, small passenger charter, skydiving, forestry survey aircraft, powerline survey, a medical supply plane for bush communities and scenic tour aircraft. With a six seat cabin design, baggage area limit of 90kg (seats can be removed to provide even more space), a powerful Lycoming(H Model)/Continental(G Model) 300HP six cylinder horizontally opposed fuel injected engine, fixed tricycle landing gear suspended on steel spring struts and a large wing planform – the aircraft can carry a lot more than both Pipers but can land on airfields of soft surfaces and at minimum distance of 500m. With the Cessna 206 more powerful engine, the range increases to 670 nautical miles or 1250kms. It has a total capacity fuel load of 350 litres split into two wing tanks. Under normal conditions the aircraft can maintain a cruise speed of 137 knots or 250 kph at altitude. At BASAIR the aircraft is predominantly used in the commercial training syllabus but on occasion is used for small passenger operations under Australia By Air. The aircraft is certified for night operations, instrument flight and day operations. Compared to the Piper Arrow, the Cessna 206 is widely used in the aviation industry for entry level commercial pilot jobs – therefore our students or alumni when they complete their course are competitive candidates as they search for employment.
The other light twin on offer at Basair College is the twin engine version of the Piper Warrior – the Piper Seminole. From the outside the aircraft visually resembles the Beechcraft Duchess but unlike the Duchess, which was originally designed in 1976 and ceased production in 1983, the Seminole has had three production periods culminating in the most modern version available at the college with electronic display cockpit and new engines. It is an excellent option for multi engine, compared to the Baron 55, if your career path is to enter the flight instructor pathway. With a modern glass cockpit display it is an ideal pre cursor to airline operations due to the similar displays. The Piper Seminole features two 180HP, four cylinder, horizontally opposed pistons, carburetted engines which counter rotation – this makes the aircraft ideal for initial twin training because the opposing forces lessen the requirement of control from the pilot. The Seminole cabin has ideal space for private and flight training operations and sits 3 people, not including the pilot, comfortably with the option of up to 90kg of baggage in the rear compartment depending on weight limitations. Compared to the Beechcraft Baron 55, the Seminole cruises at a comfortable 150KTAS or 277 kph and with engine management can achieve a range of 700nm or 1296km. The Piper Seminole uses two fuel wing tanks or nacelle tanks which provides a total of 408 litres. The standard vacuum or air instruments have been replaced with air data computers which provide sensor data to the latest generation Garmin 1000 primary and multi function displays. The Garmin 1000 can provide real time traffic, terrain and weather data, meets the standard for instrument flying and can display detailed information to the pilot about the status of their flight. This includes items such as maximum range, endurance, time to descend, top of climb, required groundspeed for arrival time etc. In Australia, the Piper Seminole shares equal popularity with private and flying school operators – with some occasional survey work but it is a rare aircraft to find conducting small passenger transport due to the aircrafts speed and low maximum take off weight compared to the Baron 55.